Liverpool have completed the signing of Dejan Lovren from Southampton for £20m. The 25-year-old, who joined Southampton from Lyon last summer, has signed a five-year deal with the Merseyside club. He has become Liverpool’s most expensive defender, surpassing the £18.6m paid for Mamadou Sakho last season.
The Croatian international adds some much needed depth to the Liverpool defense, an area that cost them dearly in the run in for the Premier League title last season.
His versatility to operate both in his natural position of center-back and full-back makes him the perfect fit for a Liverpool team that found themselves lacking when the likes of Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel were out injured.
Speaking to liverpoolfc.com, Lovren said: “It’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here. I’m proud and can’t wait to start. I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club.”
He is suited for Brendan Rodgers’ style of football, and his ability to move the ball out from the defense will be valued opposed to the likes Mamadou Sakho, who was regularly criticized for his lack of comfort on the ball.
Lovren is sure to be committed for his new club, with his enthusiasm after signing paying homage to that.
“I’m a player that will give 100 per cent and I want to show that to the supporters because they deserve to see players who give 100 per cent. I know it is going to be something special to play in front of the fans at Anfield and I can’t wait,” Lovren stated.
Lovren can bring some leadership to Liverpool; at times last season the club suffered due to lack of leadership other than Steven Gerrard. There’s an argument their capitulation at Palace wouldn’t have happened if they had the likes of a Lovren in their ranks.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had this to say of his new signing: “He’s very strong, very commanding, but he can play. I’ve been really impressed with him.
“I watched him at Lyon, he came into the Premier League with Southampton and I know their players thought he was a big driving force for them and kept them defensively solid.”
His experiences of Champions League football with Lyon should be of great help to Liverpool. Many of the players in the squad have yet to experience Europe’s Premier club competition in recent seasons, so his experiences with Lyon could be vital in pulling the side along, especially if they are losing to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
It will be interesting to see whether he is a regular starter with the club. Currently Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger are ahead of him in the pecking order, but given the rumors that Agger is on his way out, Lovren could be a nailed on starter come the Southampton game.